The Emotional Toll of Eczema

topic eczema or dermatitis often presents as a chronic, itchy skin condition. Living with eczema can affect your general well-being and mental health. Often, atopic eczema leads to intense emotions.

People with moderate to severe eczema can experience stress, depression, low self-esteem, or anxiety. Also, you might have anger issues or experience shame. Besides the physical skin symptoms common for many people, atopic eczema patients can experience challenges with their relationships, career choices, work, or school.

Loss of self-esteem might arise when people get bullied or teased due to their skin and appearance. The visual stigma of this skin condition might also lead to mood changes, depression, or anxiety. These adverse emotional effects can last long after the physical symptoms subside.

Children Emotional Eczema

Many people, especially children with the condition, find it challenging to cope with eczema. Physically, moderate to severe eczema breakouts cause lots of pain and discomfort in children. Also, children who experience moderate to severe eczema do not perform optimally in their daily lives.

Typical emotional symptoms reported among children include:

  • Mental, social, emotional, and psychosocial stress
  • Dramatic sleep disruptions
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Social isolation from friends
  • Depression
  • Discrimination in public spaces as people react with fear of them

In most instances, these symptoms make it difficult for children to maintain their sense of self-worth and self-esteem later in life.

Anxiety and Stress

Atopic dermatitis usually causes persistent itch and endless sleepless nights. People with such conditions can quickly develop stress and anxiety. In turn, the patient will experience flareups that lead to more anxiety and stress. How does this cycle occur?

The body usually gets into a fight-or-flight mode whenever someone experiences stress. This mode encourages the production of adrenaline and cortisol, which causes inflammatory responses in the skin. Eventually, an eczema patient will experience a vicious cycle of more flareups.

Unfortunately, this cycle can make someone feel helpless, resulting in more anxiety. Also, the daily challenges of living with eczema can make someone feel isolated, resulting in a low mood and more depression symptoms.

Relationships and Eczema

Eczema usually lowers a patient’s self-confidence and can make one feel embarrassed. Most patients are also reluctant to mingle with others, leading to feelings of isolation. In such instances, trying a hobby or relaxation can help improve your mood. Also, it is usually helpful to talk about your feelings.

A good skincare routine that includes atopic dermatitis products ensures that the condition doesn’t worsen. You could also consider having topical treatments and soap substitutes to keep the state in check. Avoidance of common triggers is also helpful in managing your eczema.

Managing your Eczema-related emotions

If you experience stress, depression, or anxiety, you could:

  • Practice relaxation or meditation. Guided meditation or yoga classes are invaluable in helping atopic dermatitis patients deal with stress.
  • Prioritize getting enough sleep. While it might be challenging to get enough sleep when eczema acts up, you could try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. A soothing bath and limited screen time before bed could help you drift off.
  • Talk to someone. Connect with people who have experienced eczema. You could consider getting a support group that shares their experiences. Also, if you have ongoing anxiety issues, a professional therapist can help you.
  • Regular exercising. Consistent physical activity usually releases “feel-good” hormones, endorphins, that keep your stress levels low. Over time, you’ll experience an improved mood.

Addressing your emotions proactively will help to minimize and reverse the eczema cycle.

From its rash-like appearance to the sleepless nights from the relentless itch, eczema can weigh down a patient’s emotions. Working with a healthcare professional helps you find advice and support on resolving your general well-being or mood issues.

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